Job 24; Job 25; Job 26; Job 27; Job 28

1 “Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain? 2 Evil people steal land by moving the boundary markers. They steal livestock and put them in their own pastures. 3 They take the orphan’s donkey and demand the widow’s ox as security for a loan. 4 The poor are pushed off the path; the needy must hide together for safety. 5 Like wild donkeys in the wilderness, the poor must spend all their time looking for food, searching even in the desert for food for their children. 6 They harvest a field they do not own, and they glean in the vineyards of the wicked. 7 All night they lie naked in the cold, without clothing or covering. 8 They are soaked by mountain showers, and they huddle against the rocks for want of a home. 9 “The wicked snatch a widow’s child from her breast, taking the baby as security for a loan. 10 The poor must go about naked, without any clothing. They harvest food for others while they themselves are starving. 11 They press out olive oil without being allowed to taste it, and they tread in the winepress as they suffer from thirst. 12 The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the wounded cry for help, yet God ignores their moaning. 13 “Wicked people rebel against the light. They refuse to acknowledge its ways or stay in its paths. 14 The murderer rises in the early dawn to kill the poor and needy; at night he is a thief. 15 The adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No one will see me then.’ He hides his face so no one will know him. 16 Thieves break into houses at night and sleep in the daytime. They are not acquainted with the light. 17 The black night is their morning. They ally themselves with the terrors of the darkness. 18 “But they disappear like foam down a river. Everything they own is cursed, and they are afraid to enter their own vineyards. 19 The grave consumes sinners just as drought and heat consume snow. 20 Their own mothers will forget them. Maggots will find them sweet to eat. No one will remember them. Wicked people are broken like a tree in the storm. 21 They cheat the woman who has no son to help her. They refuse to help the needy widow. 22 “God, in his power, drags away the rich. They may rise high, but they have no assurance of life. 23 They may be allowed to live in security, but God is always watching them. 24 And though they are great now, in a moment they will be gone like all others, cut off like heads of grain. 25 Can anyone claim otherwise? Who can prove me wrong?”
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: 2 “God is powerful and dreadful. He enforces peace in the heavens. 3 Who is able to count his heavenly army? Doesn’t his light shine on all the earth? 4 How can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone born of a woman be pure? 5 God is more glorious than the moon; he shines brighter than the stars. 6 In comparison, people are maggots; we mortals are mere worms.”
1 Then Job spoke again: 2 “How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the weak! 3 How you have enlightened my stupidity! What wise advice you have offered! 4 Where have you gotten all these wise sayings? Whose spirit speaks through you? 5 “The dead tremble— those who live beneath the waters. 6 The underworld is naked in God’s presence. The place of destruction is uncovered. 7 God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. 8 He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight. 9 He covers the face of the moon, shrouding it with his clouds. 10 He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundary between day and night. 11 The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at his rebuke. 12 By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster. 13 His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent. 14 These are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?”
1 Job continued speaking: 2 “I vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who has embittered my soul— 3 As long as I live, while I have breath from God, 4 my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies. 5 I will never concede that you are right; I will defend my integrity until I die. 6 I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live. 7 “May my enemy be punished like the wicked, my adversary like those who do evil. 8 For what hope do the godless have when God cuts them off and takes away their life? 9 Will God listen to their cry when trouble comes upon them? 10 Can they take delight in the Almighty? Can they call to God at any time? 11 I will teach you about God’s power. I will not conceal anything concerning the Almighty. 12 But you have seen all this, yet you say all these useless things to me. 13 “This is what the wicked will receive from God; this is their inheritance from the Almighty. 14 They may have many children, but the children will die in war or starve to death. 15 Those who survive will die of a plague, and not even their widows will mourn them. 16 “Evil people may have piles of money and may store away mounds of clothing. 17 But the righteous will wear that clothing, and the innocent will divide that money. 18 The wicked build houses as fragile as a spider’s web, as flimsy as a shelter made of branches. 19 The wicked go to bed rich but wake to find that all their wealth is gone. 20 Terror overwhelms them like a flood, and they are blown away in the storms of the night. 21 The east wind carries them away, and they are gone. It sweeps them away. 22 It whirls down on them without mercy. They struggle to flee from its power. 23 But everyone jeers at them and mocks them.
1 “People know where to mine silver and how to refine gold. 2 They know where to dig iron from the earth and how to smelt copper from rock. 3 They know how to shine light in the darkness and explore the farthest regions of the earth as they search in the dark for ore. 4 They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives. They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth. 5 Food is grown on the earth above, but down below, the earth is melted as by fire. 6 Here the rocks contain precious lapis lazuli, and the dust contains gold. 7 These are treasures no bird of prey can see, no falcon’s eye observe. 8 No wild animal has walked upon these treasures; no lion has ever set his paw there. 9 People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the roots of mountains. 10 They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. 11 They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures. 12 “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 13 No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living. 14 ‘It is not here,’ says the ocean. ‘Nor is it here,’ says the sea. 15 It cannot be bought with gold. It cannot be purchased with silver. 16 It’s worth more than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx or lapis lazuli. 17 Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. 18 Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies. 19 Precious peridot from Ethiopia cannot be exchanged for it. It’s worth more than the purest gold. 20 “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. 22 Destruction and Death say, ‘We’ve heard only rumors of where wisdom can be found.’ 23 “God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, 24 for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. 26 He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. 27 Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. 28 And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”